Horseradish Recipes and Cultivation
Spice up your life with this zesty root.
Aside from adding flavor, horseradish has diuretic and antibiotic properties, which make it a home remedy for mild chronic urinary tract infections.
Horseradish is a flavorful herb that has been used for centuries to enhance the flavor of food, aid in its digestion and to keep people healthy. Today, horseradish is best known for adding zesty flavor to condiments of all kinds, and in the United States, the state of Illinois grows more than 50 percent of the annual horseradish crop, which is used to produce about 6 million gallons of ground horseradish.
Horseradish has been used as a folk remedy because of its medicinal qualities. It helps relieve congestion and coughs from colds and sinus infections. It stimulates digestion, which makes it a good partner for meat. Horseradish also has diuretic and antibiotic properties, which make it a home remedy for mild chronic urinary tract infections.
Research at the University of Illinois has shown that horseradish may also help the body resist cancer. Glucosinolates, chemical compounds found in horseradish, facilitate carcinogen removal by the liver. The anticancer effects of the horseradish root are increased when it is processed.
Horseradish thrives in the garden or flower bed and is occasionally found growing along country roads. Horseradish can be invasive in some environments, so be sure to give it plenty of room to spread out. A single piece of root is all that is needed to start a horseradish plant. Horseradish prefers sun and does not like to be constantly wet, but it will thrive on neglect in many less-than-ideal locations. The plant has large leaves, reaches a height of 30 inches and produces a white flower when it blooms. Dig horseradish after the first frost, take the large tap root and leave the small side roots for next year’s crop.
Horseradish tap roots
Dig large horseradish tap roots after first frost. Wash and scrape (like carrots). Slice or chunk, place in blender and grind, adding small amounts of vinegar for a good consistency (about 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup horseradish). The vinegar preserves the horseradish and enhances the flavor. Vinegar stops the heat-building enzyme activity that grinding causes. If you want hotter horseradish, wait before adding the vinegar; adding the vinegar right away will make the horseradish milder.
For red horseradish, add some pickled beet juice to the mixture.
Note: Be careful when taking the lid off the blender after grinding. It will most likely make your eyes water, take your breath away and probably clear your sinuses, too.
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